Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Florida Democrats Take Another Swing At Pro-Employee Legislation (That Won't Pass)

Another legislative session coming up, some more pro-employee legislation that will not pass. But here’s what some Florida Democrats (okay, I didn’t check them all, but c’mon, what are the odds that any of the co-sponsors of any pro-employee laws are Republicans?) are trying to pass in 2016 to help Florida employees:

$15 minimum wage: SB 6 and HB 109 would raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15/hour

ERA: SCR 74 and HCR 8001 would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Better late than never.

Sexual Orientation: SB 120 and HB 45would add sexual orientation and gender identity to prohibited categories of discrimination in the workplace.

Social Media Privacy: SB 186 would prohibit employers from demanding your social media passwords.

Unemployment and Domestic Violence: SB 188 protects employees who leave or lose jobs due to domestic violence from being disqualified for unemployment benefits.

Paid Sick Leave: SB 294 and HB 205 would require state and local governments with at least 9 employees to provide paid sick leave to employees. Why only government employers? I'm really not sure that's what the sponsors meant to do, but that's what it says employers are.

Paid Family Leave: SB 384 and HB 603 would require employers to provide paid leave similar to FMLA for birth or adoption of a child and care in the first year, but it applies to employees who work at least 20 hours a week, applies to employers with at least 15 employees, and would permit up to 6 weeks of protected leave. Creates a rebuttable presumption that any demotion or discharge taken within 90 days against an employee who takes leave is a violation.

Ban the Box: SB 448 and HB 353 would prohibit employers from asking about criminal history in initial employment applications.

If you support any of these bills, start calling and writing your legislators now. Especially the Republicans. If any of these proposed laws get overwhelming support, they may just have a chance. My prediction: DOA.


  1. Sorry this comment is not related to this post but I couldn't find a place to ask a question. In what cases could a manager be sued or be held personally responsible for the termination of an employee? I fully believe in having frank discussions with employees and not blindsiding them with a termination if they have not been warned. I also believe in documenting all the steps that eventually led to termination but was recently told that an employee could name me as an individual in a lawsuit. The way it was presented was almost in a way to make us be hesitant to ever fire anyone. As much as I hate terminating someone in some cases it is the only resolution available. It also is not in the rest of the staff's favor if you are afraid to ever fire anyone out of fear. In my opinion this just builds resentment in your good staff members if you don't address problem employees.

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.